Dr Charles Henry Turner: A Pioneer in Animal Cognition and Intelligence


Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923) was the first African-American to obtain graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati (M.S., 1892) and the third from the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1907). From about 1893 to 1905 Turner served as Chair of the Science department of Clark College, Atlanta, Georgia. However, in 1908, he assumed a teaching position at Sumner High School and remained there until 1922. In total, he published 70 papers on invertebrates (ants, cockroaches, honeybees, sand wasps and spiders), providing experimental proof that insects can hear, distinguish sound pitch, see color and patterns, and learn through trial and error. Turner is currently considered by many to be the "father of the study of animal cognition and intelligence." We examine his family and social backgrounds, his research results, and his contributions to the achievement of racial and educational equality in St. Louis, Missouri.

This document is currently not available here.